Don Richardson (missionary)
Don Richardson Born 1935
Occupation Missionary Religion Christian
- For others named Don Richardson, see Don Richardson (disambiguation)
Don Richardson (born 1935) is a Canadian Christian missionary, teacher, author and international speaker who worked among the tribal people of Western New Guinea, Indonesia. He argues in his writings that, hidden among tribal cultures, there are usually some practices or understandings, which he calls "redemptive analogies", which can be used to illustrate the meaning of the Christian Gospel, contextualizing the biblical representation of the incarnation of Jesus.
Richardson studied at the Prairie Bible Institute and the Summer Institute of Linguistics. In 1962, he and his wife Carol and their seven-month-old baby went to work among the Sawi tribe of what was then Dutch New Guinea in the service of the Regions Beyond Missionary Union. The Sawi were known to be cannibalistic  headhunters. Living with them in virtual isolation from the modern world involved exposure to malaria, dysentery, and hepatitis, as well as the threat of violence.
In their new home in the jungle, the Richardsons set about learning the native Sawi language which was daunting in its complexity. There are 19 tenses for every verb. Don was soon able to become proficient in the dialect after a schedule of 8–10 hour daily learning sessions.
Missions to the
Richardson labored to show the villagers a way that they could comprehend Jesus from the Bible, but the cultural barriers to understanding and accepting this teaching seemed impossible until an unlikely event brought the concept of the substitutionary atonement of Christ into immediate relevance for the Sawi.
Missionary historian Ruth A. Tucker writes:
As he learned the language and lived with the people, he became more aware of the gulf that separated his Christian worldview from the worldview of the Sawi: "In their eyes, Judas, not Jesus, was the hero of the Gospels, Jesus was just the dupe to be laughed at." Eventually Richardson discovered what he referred to as a Redemptive Analogy that pointed to the Incarnate Christ far more clearly than any biblical passage alone could have done. What he discovered was the Sawi concept of the Peace Child.
Three tribal villages were in constant battle at this time. The Richardsons were considering leaving the area, so to keep them there, the Sawi people in the embattled villages came together and decided that they would make peace with their hated enemies. Ceremonies commenced that saw young children being exchanged between opposing villages. One man in particular ran toward his enemy's camp and literally gave his son to his hated foe. Observing this, Richardson wrote: "if a man would actually give his own son to his enemies, that man could be trusted!" From this rare picture came the analogy of God's sacrifice of his own Son. The Sawi began to understand the teaching of the incarnation of Christ in the Gospel after Richardson explained God to them in this way.
Following this event many villagers converted to Christianity, a translation of the New Testament in Sawi was published, and nearly 2,500 Sawi patients were treated by Carol. The world's largest circular building made strictly from un-milled poles was constructed in 1972 as a Christian meeting place by the Sawi.
The Richardsons then left the Sawi to be cared for by their own church elders and another missionary couple, while they went on to work on the analysis of the Auyu language.
In 1977 Don and his wife returned to North America, where he became a "minister-at-large" for his mission (now called World Team). Don also began teaching at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena, becoming Director of Tribal Peoples' Studies. He was instrumental in launching the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement course under the auspices of USCWM. Richardson has continued to teach and travel broadly, speaking about "redemptive analogies" as a means to communicate the gospel message among tribal peoples and other cultures. His best-selling books have had a significant impact on missiology and ongoing Christian missionary work.
- Peace Child (1975) ISBN 0830704159
- Peace Child (2007) ISBN 1576582892
- Lords of the Earth (2003) ISBN 1576582906
- Eternity in Their Hearts: Startling Evidence of Belief in the One True God in Hundreds of Cultures Throughout the World (2006) ISBN 0830738371
- Secrets of the Koran (2008) ISBN 0830731237
- Richardson, Don (February 2009). Unhidden. Xulon Press. ISBN 978-1607912453. http://books.google.com/books?id=Rm7xkRasz2cC.
- Tucker, Ruth (1983). From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya A Biographical History of Christian Missions. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan. ISBN 0310239370.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Don Richardson — may refer to: Don Richardson (musician) Don Richardson (missionary) Don Richardson (businessman) This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same personal name. If an … Wikipedia
Don Richardson (disambiguation) — Don Richardson may refer to:* Don Richardson (musician) * Don Richardson (missionary) … Wikipedia
Peniel Missionary Society — The Peniel Mission was an interdenominational holiness missionary organisation that was started in Los Angeles, California in 1895 by Theodore Pollock Ferguson (1853 1920) and Manie Payne Ferguson (1850 1932) as an outgrowth of their Peniel… … Wikipedia
Timeline of Christian missions — This timeline of Christian missions chronicles the global expansion of Christianity through a sampling of missionary outreach events. A more general timeline of Christianity and History of Christianity is also available. Apostolic Age Earliest… … Wikipedia
Christianity in the 20th century — Part of a series on Christianity … Wikipedia
Hiram Bingham III — Infobox Senator name = Hiram Bingham nationality = U.S. jr/sr and state = United States Senator from Connecticut party = Republican term start = December 17 1924 term end = March 3 1933 preceded = Frank Bosworth Brandegee succeeded = Augustine… … Wikipedia
Texas's 22nd congressional district — Infobox U.S. congressional district state=Texas district number=22 image width=350 representative = Nick Lampson party = Democratic population=651,619 population year=2000 median income=57,932 percent white=71.3 percent black=9.4 percent… … Wikipedia
Sawi — The Sawi are a tribal people of Western New Guinea, Indonesia. They were known to be cannibalistic [Tucker (1983), p. 476] headhunters as recently as the 1950 s.Since then, many of the tribe have converted to Christianity and the world s largest… … Wikipedia
Europe, history of — Introduction history of European peoples and cultures from prehistoric times to the present. Europe is a more ambiguous term than most geographic expressions. Its etymology is doubtful, as is the physical extent of the area it designates.… … Universalium
performing arts — arts or skills that require public performance, as acting, singing, or dancing. [1945 50] * * * ▪ 2009 Introduction Music Classical. The last vestiges of the Cold War seemed to thaw for a moment on Feb. 26, 2008, when the unfamiliar strains … Universalium